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Motel murder teens jailed

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/05/2016
Beauen Wallace-Loretz and Leonard Nattrass-Berquist © NZ Police Beauen Wallace-Loretz and Leonard Nattrass-Berquist

Two teens convicted of beating to death a man in an Auckland motel will spend more than 10 years behind bars.

Leonard Nattrass-Bergquist, 19, and Beauen Wallace-Loretz, 18, were last month found guilty of the murder and robbery of 54-year-old Ihaia Gillman-Harris, 54, at the Ascot Motel in Epsom on December 27, 2014.

On Tuesday, Justice Kit Toogood sentenced each of the teens to life imprisonment.

Wallace-Loretz was jailed for at least 11 years while Nattrass-Bergquist will spend at least 10 years and nine months in prison after receiving a discount for time spent being electronically monitored while on remand.

The prosecution alleged the teens convinced Mr Gillman-Harris to drive them to a motel before they attacked him - leaving him with fatal injuries - and took his money and car.

Texts sent between the pair in the hours leading up to the victim's death showed a clear plan to beat and rob him, which they carried out at the motel, the Crown said.

But the defence claimed the older man was a predator who tried to sexually assault one of the teens and they only attacked him in self-defence.

The boys' texts were pure "trash-talking" to restore their rattled nerves, after Mr Gillman-Harris earlier sexually propositioned one of the teens, the defence said.

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